Reviewed by Jacqui Wall
Opening night and only one stumble, literally. Who knew that ghosts were just as susceptible to set decorations not being secured as the rest of us. Being the consummate performers that they are however, the show went on without any further hitches. Upon arrival at the theatre and entering the auditorium, you could almost believe you were on the coast of England. It was cold, wet and raining outside and the wind was blowing the curtains at the open window of the set. Firstly, my sincere admiration to the partnership of Ole Wiebkin and Richard Parkhill for set and lighting design respectively. The feel of a run-down home about to slip off the face of the earth was so authentic, you could see the cracks and feel the draughts.
The cast all had their parts to play and they did it with such authenticity. I think a lot of the audience would have gone home questioning if their own memories were the same as others in their families. Madeleine Marin as Vi, the matriarch of the family, although a ghost and not present in body very much reminded me of my own grandmother, dancing to her own tune and ignoring anything that is unpleasant. Brought up in her mother’s likeness Jenny Allan as Teresa also had that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell demeanour which played very well against Cheryl Douglas as Mary who was very much the pragmatist. Laura Antoniazzi as Catherine was your typical spoilt baby of the family jumping between feigned innocence to flirtatious to get her own way. Mark Healy as Mike, as always delivered a stellar performance. I didn’t think anyone could pull off a pink dressing-gown, but he can and did. Finally, the standout for me was Stuart Pearce as Frank. Whilst not a major role, his facial expressions and mannerisms certainly conveyed the long-suffering husband who can see all sides but just can’t seem to wrangle the herd of cats that is the three sisters.
My congratulations to Geoff Brittain who directed this play along with the St Jude’s Payers for continuing to bring challenging and thought-provoking theatre to Adelaide. Well done.